Last night at the Log Cabin
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Last night at the Log Cabin

This is a discussion on Last night at the Log Cabin within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Every Wednesday night a local restaurant called the Log Cabin (in Macedon, NY) holds a cruiser night. This is on of the biggest in the ...

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Thread: Last night at the Log Cabin

  1. #1
    Senior Member bmartin's Avatar
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    Last night at the Log Cabin

    Every Wednesday night a local restaurant called the Log Cabin (in Macedon, NY) holds a cruiser night. This is on of the biggest in the area where several hundred hot cars and motorcycles show up every week. When the weather is nice - the joint is packed to capacity. Last night was one of those nights. While I was sipping on my Mtn. Dew I had this guy in his 40's show up and started to check out my cb750 honda and the conversation went something like this....

    "Nice bike" - me, Thank you. "Who does you work?" I do. "I have a 77 GS750 and I'd really like to get it running." What kind of work do you need done? "Oh - you know, get it tuned and running.." What kind of shape is it in? "Oh - it's been sitting for a while.." (while checking out my exhaust system) "Did you have to jet for those pipes?" Yes I did.. "I'm thinking about putting a set of performance exhaust on mine.." I asked - what kind of shape is your stock exhaust? He answered - "Well one of the pipes has a hole in it from rust..and I'd really would like to get it running again..would you know who I could get to work on the bike?" Me - I hear you, since Wards (a mom & pop shop that use to work on old bikes) closed down there is really no place that will do the work anymore - Have you tried the local dealer? Him - "Kinda - no one seems to want to work on the older bikes any more and I'd really would like to get the valves adjusted and the carbs dialed in.."

    The conversation when back and forth a little and I told him with a manual - he could do his own work and he could source his parts from either ebay and/or z1enterprises (which is local here). He responded - "Well, I did rebuild my car engine..." Me - there you go, if you can work on your performance car than working on you bike shouldn't be that big of a deal... Him - "So you think I should do my own work..?" Me - Sure, why not!

    The guy ended up walking away and I got the sense he was a little pissed that I suggested he did his own work and was looking for someone else to do his work for him. I have a shop full of tools and could have worked on his bike but I have a hard enough time to find time to work on my own stuff with my work schedule. Heck I'm having a hard enough time to find time to take my own bike out for a ride.

    I guess the whole point of this story is here is a gear head type guy that is able to build a 500hp performance car engine and felt totally inept to do his own minor tune-up work on his 70's era bike. This conversation kinda reflected on some of the noobie type questions we get on this form - the only difference in my mind is the noobies here are at least are willing to give it a go - where as this guy I spoke with had already surrendered that he was unable to do his own work.

    We have all heard and said at one point - there is no such thing as a stupid question...but we all know no-one really means that and noobies sometimes will get bashed without mercy. As much as I can admit - some might deserve a little hazing but I'm finding it harder to push the kill button on someone who is at least willing to give it a go. That's my story - I hope you were entertained...
    WERA689 likes this.
    Bob - Palmyra NY
    2 - 69 CB750, 1 Turbo
    1 - 71 CB750

  2. #2
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    I hate to say it, but there is this comfort zone that develops with guys and working on old AMERICAN pushrod v-8s that makes working on anything else feel exotic and out of one's league. By the time I first looked under the valve cover of a cb750 engine I had already been elbow deep in several chevy small and big blocks and a pontiac 400 and 455. I took that valve cover off, looked at that single over head cam, and said to myself "what have I gotten into". OHC multi carb engines just feel intimidating when you are used to the rock and hammer simplicity of an american pushrod v-8. The norton was slightly less intimidating but just looking at the cam used to give me fits. then again I used to look at something like an alfa engine and the concept of it would blow my mind - I could throw a rock and hit someone who knew how to fix a chevy - but what do I do about an alfa? who do you talk to?
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  3. #3
    Senior Member Emit R Detsaw's Avatar
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    Geets is completely correct. I have students in both the Basic Rider Course and Experienced Rider Courses (BRC2 and ARC) that have vast amounts of wrench time with a variety of internal-combustion engines, and they all regard motorcycle engines as some sort of product of DARPA gleaned from another solar system. They ask all manner of questions about how to change their oil (!), adjust valves, adjust throttle/clutch cables, check chain/belt tension, etc. I always respond with the same advice - get and READ a service manual, and remember, its just an engine, an internal-combustion, four (or two) stroke reciprocating power device. Stop looking at it like its a clitoris or something else strange you'll never understand. For the ladies I delete the clitoris reference. Most guys seem to nod and accept the analogy. The one exception are H-D owners. They either don't care to know since they pay to have a dealership do EVERYTHING or are so elbows-deep into the mechanics of their bikes they don't feel the need to ask questions.
    I believe we have run out of trolls.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    well A harley is the type of bike that you need to own several blunt instruments to work on. The one thing that does infuriate me about my Ironhead is that most things do more than one job and that second job is not always intuitive. Plus a lot of things that shouldn't need special tools require special tools. A great example is the clutch - you can tell they designed it with ease of manufacture and cost savings in mind. Instead of a japanese clutch which has a series of 6 or 8 bolts and springs around the pressure plate, the IH has one giant fuck off spring and one giant fuck off bolt. you can remove it pretty easily (don't stand in front of that fuck off spring) but you need a special tool to put it back together (most guys mod some form of steering wheel puller to work). Its a unique bike because it is the easiest bike to take apart but kinda difficult to put back together correctly.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  6. #5
    Senior Member bmartin's Avatar
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    I have a buddy that's a truck driver and due to his work schedule, even tho he can do his own work, he would rather have a shop do his work because he just doesn't have time to do his own work. I'd help him out but he is in NH and I'm in NY - too far to help him out. So in this case, having a good mom & pop shop would be convent for him.
    Bob - Palmyra NY
    2 - 69 CB750, 1 Turbo
    1 - 71 CB750

  7. #6
    Senior Member TCed's Avatar
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    These same people probably take their weed wackers and lawnmowers to a shop for service. They also cannot keep their kids model airplane engine running. Maybe it's a fear of small engines and thinking small stuff inside will fall out and get lost vs. a 454c.i. connecting rod or a cam shaft as long as a forearm.
    ed

  8. #7
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    children's model airplane engines are electric now. just so you know. If something burns out it is cheaper to replace than repair. I don't know if you can even get a new cox .049 engine anymore.

    I think it is a fear of failure and the expense that follows that gets most. I hate to say it but some parts for a cb750 are way more expensive than their small block chevy counterpart. Also certain engines are very very forgiving, where as complicated japanese machines don't seem like they are (some are some aren't). Iv'e seen guys put thousands of miles on 350s with cracked blocks. I've seen HD's that had no business running but did. setting valve timing on a chevy is so easy your autistic kid nephew could do it blindfolded, but ask them to do valve timing on a cb750 and the concept eludes people because it is not two platters facing you and all you have to do is line up the dots. The japanese stuff is not always immediatly apparent when you are working on it.

    Also people are impatient.

    you can understand nothing about engines or tools and put together a chevy v8 using only a manual. I don't think the same applies to mulit cam, multi cylinder, multi carb engines. I think that is why old beemers are the best starter bikes for learning to work on stuff. Nearly everything is intuitive and it's all easily accessible. It is still to date the ONLY motorcycle I have worked on that needed no tools to change the air filter.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  9. #8
    Senior Member Farmer_John's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmartin View Post
    I have a buddy that's a truck driver and due to his work schedule, even tho he can do his own work, he would rather have a shop do his work because he just doesn't have time to do his own work. I'd help him out but he is in NH and I'm in NY - too far to help him out. So in this case, having a good mom & pop shop would be convent for him.
    In the same boat. 20 days on the truck, 10 days off. Some things I'll take care of, some things I'd rather have done while I'm circumnavigating the US of stinkin A. I wanna ride during my hometime, not wrench.

    Oh, Cox hasn't made the Baby Bee for more than a decade, though I like the sound, smell and raw rip of my Nova Rossi 9 ports...just don't have the time to run them either...

  10. #9
    Senior Member TCed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    children's model airplane engines are electric now. just so you know. If something burns out it is cheaper to replace than repair. I don't know if you can even get a new cox .049 engine anymore.

    .
    About the time I hit enter i realized the model airplane engine was a big mistake. Those electric motors do save dad's a lot of embarrassment.

  11. #10
    Senior Member bmartin's Avatar
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    Farmer John - As it turns out my truck driving buddy hates his current driving job and is looking for a 20/10 driving job. He has 8 years experience and a few billion miles under his belt with a good driving record. What company are you working for and do you have a contact for him?? You can send a private email and I can pass it off to him. [email protected]

    Thanks
    Bob - Palmyra NY
    2 - 69 CB750, 1 Turbo
    1 - 71 CB750

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